Snuggled in bed this morning, Big Bean walked in trying to catch ‘something’, she then climbed in next to me and Little Bean with her hand cupped, as though holding something.”What have you got there?” I asked. “Her name’s Charlotte, she lives in our house. She’s so tiny only I can see her!”. Big Bean has a fabulous imagination and often comes up with stories like this.
With Little Bean feeling poorly, and all of us very tired, I cancelled our original plans and thought I’d cling onto this lovely idea Big Bean had come up with through her play. Lately we have been delving into more chapter books, what a perfect time to introduce a childhood favourite of mine, and a true Classic – The Borrowers by Mary Norton.
After this we watched snippets of the Borrowers movie and TV adaptations that I could find on YouTube whilst we ate lunch and recharged with cups of tea.
We spent 3 hours immersed in the making of these gorgeous houses. I am so in love with all of the tiny details and imaginative use of materials. Like the swings made from curtain rings, the disco balls made from pipettes covered in gold confetti or the lampshade made from a sleigh bell opened out!
I sat back and observed throughout most of the building, they obviously had help from me with the glue gun and some of the trickier cutting out, but only when they asked for it, and all of the ideas were their own. They are more engaged if they feel you trust them and allow them to completely own their learning.
This was such a fun day, and they have been playing with their creations all evening. I have been thinking about what would have happened to Big Beans gorgeous idea this morning, dreamt up through her play. If I hadn’t have jumped on that little spark would it have been lost? Would they have been interested in the story of the borrowers? Would they have produced such fantastic creations had this activity been adult led and taught? I truly believe they would not have been so deeply invested, had this all have been led and planned by me.
What a perfect example of inquiry based learning! Our spontaneous mid week mini topic shows that so much can be achieved by jumping on their ideas and following them enthusiastically, trusting them to take the learning where it needs to go.